For 38 years, 4Cs of Alameda County has been a sponsor of the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), providing reimbursements and support to enable family child care providers to serve healthy, nutritious food to children in their care. In 2017 alone, almost 1.5 million meals were paid for through 4Cs CACFP program for children in 386 family child care homes. It is with a heavy heart that this July will be our final month administering the CACFP. As program expenses rose and program expenses became cost prohibitive, terminating our contract was a very difficult decision for 4Cs' leadership team and Board of Directors.
While our sponsorship of the CACFP is ending, 4Cs is still committed to providing support, training, and resources to child care providers to promote children's health, nutrition, and safety. We will also continue to offer CalFresh enrollment assistance. And our agency will persist in finding opportunities to bring more health and nutrition resources to families and child care providers.
As we work with the state and our partners to transition 4Cs' current CACFP providers into the hands of new CACFP sponsors, I would be remiss if I didn't thank our food program participants for entrusting us with this work for almost four decades. It has been an honor and a privilege to enter your homes, become a part of your child care families, and walk along with you as we worked toward providing as many children as possible with the healthiest start in life.
I also must thank our wonderful Child Health and Nutrition staff for being a huge reason why the CACFP was successful for so many years. The children and child care providers whose lives our staff have impacted are countless, and the impact their knowledge about, and dedication to, the CACFP will be remembered for many years to come.
Finally, to the fearless manager of 4Cs' Child Health and Nutrition Program, Stephanie Clarke: You have lead the Child Health and Nutrition team for more than two decades with a grace, determination, and creativity that only the greatest of leaders have. We wish you luck as your next chapter in a new state begins. Know that 4Cs staff will do our best to stay sugar and sweetened beverage-free and remain physically active in your absence. You will be missed!
Renee S. Herzfeld